History of Chesterville
EARLY SETTLERS OF CHESTER TOWNSHIP
Evan and Charity Holt were known to be among the early settlers in 1803. Joseph Vance had surveyed the township in 1807. In 1807 John Stilley, aged 15, had been here with his Uncle John Stilley who settled on land near Mt. Vernon. It was not until 1818 that John Stilley returned to claim his land. John Walker followed in 1809 with Jacob Shurr and David Miller among those in 1810. T.C. Lord's farm was to the north and William McCracken's farm to the south of the village. around 1815 Enos Miles, Sr. came to Chester Township, Knox County, Ohio. Upon his arrival he bought property of James Holt. Enos was a teacher and surveyor. It was in 1819 that Enos Miles laid out the village that locally would bear his name as MILES CROSSING. J. C. Hickman made the official survey of the village in 1829 when the village was officially named CHESTERVILLE for the number of early settlers who came from Chester, Pennsylvania.
SELOVER PUBLIC LIBRARY
Daniel Selover donated $10,000 in memory of his parents for the construction of a library in 1924. The building was dedicated for use in January 20, 1926. Daniel died before he saw the building. In 1983 the shell Oil Station was torn down to give way to the new addition to the library. On January 20, 1990, 64 years after the original building was dedicated, an open house was held for the dedication with Pauline James as the guest speaker. Pauline had been involved with the library all her life. Her father, Bert Buchanan, being one of the original trustees of the library. The heavy oak furniture in the library was made by inmates of the Ohio State Reformatory for the original building. It is very appropriate that the library stands on the very spot that the founders of the village thought was to be the center for education for it's residents.
It was in 1830 that Enos Miles had built the "LEONARD HOUSE" and tavern on this parcel of land. In 1838 Enos built a larger four story brick building adjoining the west end of the tavern. This building was build and know as the "ACADEMY" and was intended as a finishing school for young ladies. The ground floor of the Academy was used for business rooms, the second floor for the living room and dining room with the third floor for classrooms and students private rooms, while the fourth floor was used as an assembly hall. The partitions and flooring in the building were so constructed that each room was sound proof. Due to insufficient enrollment in the Academy, the building was remodeled and used as a hotel, store and tavern. The tavern was rented to Phineas Squires. The hotel register show that Grover Cleveland stayed in the hotel in 1885 the year he became president of the United States. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1887. It is told that while excavating for the Leonard House in 1830 a human skull, which had more teeth than modern man, with a jaw bone that was so big that it fit easily over the jaw of the largest man in the town. The skull was transported to Mansfield and never heard of again.
THE TOWN PUMP
On the northwest corner of Miles crossing stood the "Olde Town Pump" which was dug in 1833 to supply the residents of the village with water. This pump supplied the needs of the village until the 1970's. A "Replica" was built and placed in front of the library.
WOOD COMMERCIAL BUILDING / CHESTERVILLE ANTIQUE STORE
Jewel Wood once owned the entire block on the southeast corner of St. Rt. 95 & St. Rt. 314. This complex was connected and housed a hardware, grocery store, millinery, and harness shop. Mr. Wood locked up the complex one night and disappeared never to return. W.F. Bartlett bought the complex to keep it in operation. At one time Ringwalts Department store of Mount Vernon, had a branch store here. Bonner and Meredith operated a grocery and trucking business in this building around 1913, followed by Auker, Stumph, & Frank Burns' General Store. John Smith had a barber shop on the second floor in the 1920's. Many a game of checkers were played there while the storytellers told their tales. There was a shoe repair shop in the east end of the building at one time. Dallas Hair removed the front of the present building and moved it down the alley, known as Walnut Street, to the east edge of town on the south side of St. Rt. 95 in the mid-1920's. Clarence Stumph and Tommy Simmons operated an International dealership, hardware, and gas station in the 1930's and 1940's. Lester Van Winkle moved the hardware from this building to the lower level of the town hall in the late 1950's. The building was used as an Auction house in the 1960's. Presently, the building houses the Chesterville Antique Store. This building is listed in the National Register of Historic Buildings as "THE WOOD COMMERCIAL BUILDING" RESTAURANT. The restaurant building was part of the Wood Commercial Complex. It was the drug store of the time. Later years this building was a restaurant and pool hall. During one era the upper story was used for boxing matches and later for an apartment for the operators of the restaurant. Kelly's Pizza and Cones opened in 1995 with pool tables being added in 1996.
OLD BARTLETT AND GOBLE STORE / SECOND-HAND ROSE ANTIQUES
Fire destroyed the entire block of the south-west corner of St. Rt. 314 & St. Rt. 95 at one time. This present building sat on South Portland near the end of the village. It has been said to have been an undertaker's parlor. Burr Slatter moved the building to it's present location to house a harness and buggy shop. Around 1850 it housed the "BARTLETT AND GOBLE STORE." Stanley Pearl housed a grocery store in this building. It has been said that a Ford Dealer occupied this building. Hoy Squires and Son, Warren operated a roofing business along with buying wool and furs. In the late 1970's the building became an antique store. This building is on the National Register of Historic Buildings as "OLD BARTLETT AND GOBLE STORE."
This area housed a grocery store for many years. Store owners of recent years were Dawsons, Jones, Sipes, and Beams. The post office was located here at one time. John Smith operated a barber shop on the second floor. There was no electric and hair was cut with hand clippers. The last business was a pool hall and snack bar. This building was demolished in the 1980's.
Earl "Greasy" Denman had a Chevrolet Dealership and garage here from the 1930's to the 1980's. The building is now the firehouse.
The Masonic Lodge (Chester Lodge No. 238) was formed on March 22, 1853. The first meeting was held in the "Leonard House." In 1873 the Masons bought the J.A. Goble Dry Goods Store building for $1,950. In 1829 this lot was purchased for $49. The lower floor continued to house store keepers and the lodge meetings were held on the upper level. A doctor also operated an office here. The Masons sister lodge, Evelyn Chapter, No. 146, Order of the Eastern Stars was formed in 1902. Fire destroyed this building in 1912. The Masons rebuilt the building. Dr. Hodges office was housed here. Fire again destroyed the building on October 15, 1939. The fire was so intense that the residence and office of Dr. Williams was also destroyed. Following the fire of 1939, Dora Lloyd, a member of the Eastern Stars, funded the rebuilding of the present cement block building which was rebuilt by Chester Brooks and Claude James. The loan was repaid as money became available. This new Masonic Temple was dedicated on October 10, 1941. Joe Arnold operated a grocery in the 1930's to mid 1940's when a son-in-law Jim Denman assumed the business. Farmers sold cream and eggs here. Westinghouse appliances were sold along with a full supply of groceries. The post office was located in the back of the grocery until 1975. A number of occupants have operated the grocery.
The house north of the Masonic building is the "Holt House." The house that sat here was destroyed by the fire of 1912. A catalog order house was rebuilt by Ella Frances Holt. This house has four rooms with the only major change being an addition of a bath that was built in the pantry. The fire of 1939 burned the back porch, but the house was saved.
JUDD GORDON HOUSE
The house located to the north of the library was built by Judd Gordon with wide pine boards saved from the boxes that hardware came in. This well constructed house was the home in later years of Joe Arnold the owner of the grocery store. It has been said that Mr. Gordon built his own coffin from this pine wood and stored it in the barn behind the house for his burial.
METHODIST PARSONAGE SITE
The Presbyterian Church was moved to this site in 1905 from the Southwest corner of Miles and South Street. A choir loft, social room and foyer was added. The building was dedicated on April 19, 1906. The parsonage sat to the south of the church. In 1967 the Presbyterians and Methodist Congregations merged. The church building was torn down and the parsonage was moved to Township Road 14 in 1975. The Methodist built the new parsonage in 1977. At one time the Presbyterian parsonage sat across the road from the church.
At one time there were four doctors practicing in Chesterville. Dr. Whitford, Dr. Jackson, Dr. Williams, and Dr. Hodges. Other doctors were Dr. Varney, Dr. T.A. Huggins in 1985. Dr. Hodges office was in the Masonic building and he lived in the James Page home. He came to the village in 1893 and practiced medicine for 27 years. Dr. Hodges had the first horseless carriage in the town. He died in February 1920.
DR. RICHARD E. LORD
The first physician in the village was Dr. R. E. Lord. He practiced between the years of 1830's and 1863. Legend says that he bought land from Enos Miles. The map shows that the property he owned was that purchased from Enos Miles on North Portland. Dr. Lord put up a four and a half story Grist Mill on West Sandusky Street just a little southwest of the center of the village. Dr. Lord was said to be a rather delicate constitution and the traditions of his labor of love and self-sacrifice were met on every side. It is related of him that on one occasion a poor family had sent for him. It was during winter the stream south of the village had overflowed and its current was dashing away everything before it. To attempt to cross the steam seemed to be life threatening and Dr. Lord's family used every persuasion to keep him at home at least till the next day. He felt duty demanded and mounted his horse, forded the stream, and escaped the dangers of the river, to carry on the duties of his practice. Dr, Lord died in 1864, highly esteemed by all who knew him.
Morrow Manor was built around 1960 by Chester Sipes and Leonard Keyes. This site was previously the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Nauman. There was a blacksmith shop on the northeast corner of the lot. It was said that this blacksmith did not shoe horses, but made things of iron for his customers.
DR. RALPH McGAUGHY
The property just north of Morrow Manor was the home of Dr. Ralph McGaughy who was a professor in Education at Columbia University in New York City. Dr. McGaughy was born and raised in Chester Township and continued to have a home here. He was a great supporter of education of the area. Mrs. McGaughy, (Nellie Emmerson) was also raised in this area.
HIGHLAND NORTH SCHOOL BUILDING
The first teacher in the early settlement was John Gwynn who taught for one term in the old Chester Church. Enos Miles taught in the old Baptist Church and later in part of Shur's double cabin. He was instrumental in securing the first schoolhouse in Chester Township. He sold the land for this building for a pint of oats. The location for this school is unknown, but could have been in the area just northwest of the library as this was where Enos had built his first log cabin. In 1820 the first public school was founded. This log cabin school had greased paper windows, a huge fireplace and puncheon floors. Students near the fireplace "cooked" while those far away nearly froze. They quickly learned to rotate the seating during the day to keep everyone warm. As enrollment increased other schools were built. In 1890 a new brick school building was built where Highland North is located today. It was constructed to accommodate the Primary and Grammar departments on the first floor and the High School on the second floor. This building served the community until the building was reduced to a second grade school and torn down in 1920. It was then that Mrs. Sarah Huntington appropriated $10,000 for the construction of a new brick two-story school building. Mrs. Huntington was of the Huntington National Bank of Columbus and lived in a Mansion just north on St. Rt. 314 where the stone pillars and iron gates are located. The gym was where the library is now located and the office was the library. There was no cafeteria. The building became crowded for room and music classes were held in the "Old Union School." The Town Hall was used for programs. The new school was dedicated on December 16, 1921. Ten years later the second addition was added and dedicated on December 16, 1931. This addition included a gym-auditorium with a balcony and stage (where the present cafeteria is now), four classrooms on the top floor and up-to-date and completely equipped laboratories on the lower level. With the closing of the one-room schools in the area by 1942 the school again became crowded. In 1953 a new gym, home economics and shop rooms were added. In 1961 Chester-Franklin School became a part of Highland Local School system and the building became an elementary school soon after. In the 1880's a grove of maple trees was planted in the playground area, which was the pride of the community. Reunions and picnics were often held here. This was the playground for the area. It has been said that the County fair was held where the school property is and a half-mile racetrack for training horses was just north of the present school building. Rumor was told of the Black Diamond Railroad that was to run east and west just north of the village. This never happened and was perhaps the reason why the community did not grow.
WARD PEOPLES SAWMILL AND LUMBER YARD
Ward people had a sawmill near the Kokosing River and in the mid 1930's moved to the site behind the Methodist Church on the east side of Poplar Street. The mill was powered by a steam engine until a fire destroyed the mill in 1952. The mill was rebuilt and a gasoline motor was installed. Ward said that the gasoline motor never had the power of the old steam engine. The mill supplied HPM with lumber as well as area citizens. The mill closed in 1958.
OLD UNION SCHOOL
The fourth school of the area was in the house at the end of Short Street on Denman Avenue. There were three levels known as primary, grammar, and high school. The primary class was held in the basement, grammar class on the ground floor, and the high school on the upper level. The school was condemned because of the unhealthiness of the classes in the basement. The first commencement exercises were held in the Town Hall with five graduates. In 1867 the property was sold to William F. Bartlett for a dwelling. The house has remained in the Bartlett family from that time on. The property was passed on to William's daughter Maggie Moore who installed electric in the house. The Moore's had one of the finest outhouses of the having plastered walls. Ward Peoples bought the property in 1932 for $750. The first resident telephone was installed here in the mid-1930's. The property was passed on to Ward People's daughter Billie Smith in 1972. Billie remembers attending music classes for the school in the west rooms during her 7th and 8th grades around 1928 and 1929. Each of the owners, since 1867, has the same common ancestor, Bartholomew Bartlett, who was their grandfather. This home is listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings as "Old Union School."
THE "OLD FIREHOUSE" AND CONSTABLE OFFICE
The old firehouse is located on the east side of Short Street near the north end of the Town Hall. The building had double doors where the pull-type fire engine was kept. When the engine was not in use the Volunteer Company of firefighters brought the engine out to sprinkle the admiring crowd that gathered about to watch them practice their fire fighting skills. In later years a "motorized" fire engine was later left to decay at the bottom of the branch of Owl Creek (now known as the Kokosing River) just south of the village. The fire engine was later retrieved by a local resident for his collection. The building was also used as the Constable's office. Mayor's court and council meetings were also held here. Constable's names of long ago were Lewis McCreary in 1847, Abram Conklin 1847 to 1851. Rueben Gleason of 1851 to 1857, later on Frank Haines, Fred Struble in the 1930's (who was also the Sheriff of the county at one time), Robert Denman, Harold Lane and many others. The side stairway leads to the upper floor and was left unlocked for any "passer-by" to take shelter for the night at no cost.
The Chester Township Hall came into existence in 1867 with the help of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The Odd Fellows gave $1200 toward the building of the second floor using this as their Lodge Headquarters. A winding stairway takes you to the second floor meeting room and kitchen area. The ceilings on both floors are 15 feet high. At one time there was a bell tower on top of the building, which was probably used as a fire bell. This building was the center of entertainment for the township. The school held musicals, plays, and various other programs here. The Farmers Institute was a big event that was held here annually. The citizens of the community held family reunions, wedding showers, and other events here. There were traveling vaudeville troupes that gave performances for the community. The last traveling "Medicine Show" - The Bartone family was seen in the 1940's. The Odd Fellows membership which had been as many as 150 faded away and disbanded in the late 1940's and their sister lodge the "Lovejoy Rebekah Lodge" sold their share of the hall to the Chester Township Trustees for $1.00 when they disbanded in 1968. The Selover Public Library now uses the Town Hall for their summer reading program and various other programs throughout the year. This building is on the National Historic Registry of buildings.
DR. JAMES WILLIAMS
Dr. James Williams built a home at the corner of East Sandusky and Short Street in 1890. There was a small building in which he practiced medicine from about 1885 to 1900. Dr. Thomas A. Huggins also practiced medicine here 1895 to 1939. The buildings burned in 1939 when the Masonic Building burned.
U.S. POST OFFICE
The first post office was established in about 1837 with Enos Miles, Sr. as Postmaster. For some time it was kept in the bar room of the "Leonard House" hotel, but there was considerable objection to the place, and it was removed to another room, and later to one of the stores. The mail was carried from Marion to Mount Vernon twice a week on horseback. The carrier generally stopping at Chesterville overnight. About 1860, the route between Fredericktown and Mt. Gilead was established, and carried by Abram Conklin. Wilford Burt presented a cherry pigeonhole desk to the Selover Library in 1933, which came from the original post office. It is in the foyer of the present library. At one time the post office was located in Mrs. Plum's house (located where the telephone sub-station is now on South Portland.) The post office had several homes, but most recent years was located in the rear of Denman's market until 1975 when it was moved across the street to its present location where Sue Webb is Postmistress. Mr. Wood who was a businessman and owned the Wood Complex once owned this house. This building is listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings.
THE GOBLE HOUSE
The home just east of the Town Hall was the home of Ebenezer Goble, one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Goble was, also, a postmaster for the village.
DR. HAMILTON G. MAIN
Dr. Main practiced medicine in a small building that sat near his home at the corner of East Sandusky and Walnut Streets during the years of 1847 to 1864. His daughter Mary married Dr. Williams.
THE GUNSAULUS HOUSE
The Honorable Judge Joseph Gunsaulus lived on the property at the southeast corner of East Sandusky and Poplar Streets. Mr. Gunsaulus presented the monument in memory of the soldiers and sailors at the entrance to the Maple Grove Cemetery. His son Rev. Dr. Frank W. Gunsaulus was a Theologian. Later a Mr. Meredith lived here and operated a tailor shop in the little house to the east.
CALVIN BOALS HOME
Captain Boals and his wife lived in the home at the southwest corner of East Sandusky and East Street. He was a Captain in the Army. They are both buried in Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Reuben Gleason lived in the area of East Sandusky and Holt Street. Reuben had served the village as a constable in the 1850's. He, also, built and operated a potash business along the Owl Creek.
The first Methodist came to Chester Township in 1833 when Rev. William Criste preached at the Kinsell's Store. The first church was built in 1834 four lots east of the present church. It was called the Methodist seminary and poorhouse, so called from the number of poor families housed in the building free of charge. After the new church building was built the building was remodeled and known as "French's finishing school for girls." This could have been the fifth school in the area. It is evident that boys did attend this school as a Diploma dated 1867 was issued to Clarence T. Brown. This Diploma is on display in the Selover Public Library entryway. When the new school was built in 1890 the building was sold to E. A. Trowbridge and turned into a two family residence. A windstorm in the summer of 1932 destroyed this building and it was torn down. The new church building was built in 1851. The first brick was laid in the northeast corner and the last brick at the peak in the front of the church. The bell was cast in Troy, New York in 1853, made of copper alloy metal. It is 33 inches in diameter and is so sensitive that it will vibrate and ring with just a tap of a finger. Lightning struck the church in 1925 and Mr. Auker the local hardware man (who lived in the house where the parking lot is now) saw it and ran with a bucket of water and put the fire out in the belfry. The pendulum from the clock, which hung at the rear of the sanctuary, was found under one of front seats in the church. The lightning traveled to the northwest corner of the building toward the ground, and seemed to jump over the capstone, taking a chunk out of the foundation stone. This indentation can still be seen today. The belfry was altered and repaired. The bell that sits in front of the church came from the Presbyterian Church when the Churches merged in 1967. The Church is listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings.
METHODIST CHURCH CEMETERY
Enos Miles purchased the land for the cemetery behind the first Methodist Church building. In 1837, it contained some twelve graves and was neither cleared nor fenced. With increased means, the church "rendered" their attentions to this and it was one of the neatest cemeteries in the country. In 1875 Abram Conklin built a handsome stone vault in the face of a high bank at a cost of a thousand dollars. Some of the graves and stones have been moved to the Maple Grove Cemetery, others were destroyed by age or vandalism.
MAPLE GROVE CEMETERY
The Rev. Frank W. Gunsaulus erected a monument in memory of soldiers and sailors of the community at the entrance to the cemetery. As unknown soldiers grave is in the center of the graveyard. The brick and iron fence was a gift of the Shurr family. The cost of the fence was $13,000 and was dedicated on October 2, 1931. The name of the cemetery evolved from the grove of maple trees that were planted in the center of the cemetery.
The Chesterville Horse Company and Livery Stable sat at the east end of Walnut Street on the south side of Holt Street. The barn that housed the livery stable was moved in the 1940's by Albert Van Horn to his farm located in the area where the Duke station is now located on St. Rt. 95.
SHIVELY'S BLACKSMITH SHOP - NEW JERUSALEM CHURCH
Frank Shively's blacksmith shop was in the building that houses the New Jerusalem Church. It was one of the many blacksmith shops of the village. Frank was an avid gardener and sold produce to the villagers. The story is told of how Frank loved to go to the Ohio State Fair. He hid his clothes from Brit, his wife, in the blacksmith shop. In a suit of clean clothes he would catch a train in Fredericktown and go to the fair for a few days. And after he thought she was over being mad and was starting to worry he would come home. An ad in the newspaper shows that the shop was still in operation in 1924 when H. R. Cartwell announced that he had rented the shop.
The home at the corner of South Portland and Walnut was the site of another hotel and boarding house known as the "Robinson House."
THE BUTCHER SHOP - ANTIQUE SHOP
In the 1920's the butcher shop building was moved to its present location from West Sandusky Street near the hotel. Customers could sell eggs and cream at Isaly's cream station and purchase fresh meat, ice cream, and blocks of ice. The icehouse sat to the south of the building. Ice was brought from Ritchey's Ice plant in Fredericktown and stored in the icehouse. Linc and Sarah Squires were the owner-operators in the 1940's. The first milkshake machine of the area was located in the meat market. Butchering was done in the back of the building. Dr. O. W. Rap opened a practice of medicine in the upper story in 1929. He had an x-ray machine. Following the days of the meat market the building housed a dry goods general store, a plumbing and supply house, a restaurant, and at the present an antique shop.
JEWELRY STORE - BARBERSHOP
The Jarvis House was built in 1834. The architecture is the Greek revival style. Dr. Varney used this as his residence and held his practice across the street in the living room of the Nina Burns home around 1920. The house had been used as a two family dwelling, boarding house, and an apartment house. It has been renovated to its original one family dwelling. This home is listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings as the Jarvis House.
DR. WILLIAM T. BROWN & DR. WOLFORD'S HOME
The Victorian house on the northeast corner of South Portland and South Street was built in 1836. Dr. William T. Brown lived here around 1845 to 1860. He volunteered as a Regimental surgeon in the Civil War and died while in service to his country at Alexandria, Virginia at the age of 47. Dr. Wolford lived and practiced medicine here in the 1880's and 1890's. Later Mr. Jackson operated a shoe repair shop in the back rooms.
DR. L. D. WHITFORD
Dr. L. D. Whitford practiced medicine in the era of the 1860's till his death in 1899. His son Francis was a doctor while another son Byron was a Professor.
Earl (Forty) Denman operated the feed mill, which ground grain, sold seed and fertilizer, baby chicks, coal and other needs for farmers. Later the name changed to the Chesterville Feed and Supply. The mill was in operation from the 1930's to the 1980's.
SHURR'S BRICK HOUSE
Jacob Shurr built the second brick house in the village in 1825. A yoke of oxen were used to trample the clay from which the bricks were made. The style of the house had the kitchen in the basement, ground floor living area, and second story bedrooms. An addition was added around the 1930's for the use of a kitchen.
The present Second Hand Rose building sat in the area south of Shurr's brick house and was used as a funeral parlor.
State Route 314 curved to the east of the Kokosing River, which was called "Owl Creek" in the earlier days. A covered bridge was built in 1863 to cross the river. The flood of 1913 destroyed the bridge and an iron bridge was erected in 1915. The riverbed was moved reducing the curves and a cement bridge was built in the 1940's.
John Gwynn built the first gristmill in 1819 along the river. In 1825, John DeWitt, Sr. put up a sawmill. A potash business was built and operated by Reuben Gleason. As late as 1930's Ward Peoples had a sawmill along the river.
THE SHURR HOUSE
The house with the "round windows" was the home of the Shurr Family as was the double porch house. They were all descendants of Jacob Shurr. Simon Augustus (Gus) Shurr built the brick and iron fence along the front of the "Maple Grove Cemetery" in memory of his parents, George Washington and Mary Shurr. The fence cost $13,000 and was dedicated on October 2, 1931.
ENOS MILES HOUSE
Enos Miles came to this area in 1817 and built a cabin near the northeast area of the village. He built the house at the southwest corner of South Portland and Mill Street in the mid 1830's. The main part is basically unchanged except for the addition of a fireplace. Enos Miles died in 1840 and is buried in the Chester Baptist Church cemetery. Daniel Lyon a wagon maker lived here in the 1840's. Daniel's daughter Harriet and Clark Pierce were the next residents. They operated a funeral parlor and furniture store across the street. Other families to occupy the home in recent years were the Ralph Waite family, the Juston Waite family, Warren Squire's family, Benton Mahan family and is presently owned by Richard and Ellie Good. This house is listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings as the ENOS MILES HOUSE.
On April 16, 1844 a group of Presbyterians met at the home of Ebenezer Goble and appointed a committee to locate and purchase a lot for the church. Eight men took the $35 donated by the people and bought the first lot where the church was built on the southwest corner of Miles and South Street. A cemetery stood behind the church with the first burial in 1847 and the last in 1891 with only 45 being buried here. In 1905 the 140 members voted to move the building to North Portland Street where the present Methodist parsonage is now located.
PURDY FUNERAL HOME
The Purdy funeral home was located to the west of the Presbyterian Church on South Street.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH
The Baptist church stood on the northeast corner of South and Mound Street. It was a one-story building with a very ornate oil chandelier. At one time the Baptist owned the whole block with the parsonage being in the middle of the block. The church united with the Chester Baptist in 1873 sharing the same minister. The church disbanded in the 1930's and was used for storage until it was dismantled.
A cabinet shop sat on the northwest corner of South and Mound Street.
The present day Follin residence was built in the 1860's by a "well to do farmer" of the era. The unique structure is of a balloon type design. Jack Adams resided here in the 1920's and drove and trained horses for the Waite's Livery, which held as many as 50 horses. The livery was located behind the hotel on Walnut Street. Milton Williams owned this property in 1945 and it was known as the Williams Place for many years.
In 1846 Hance & McCollough put up a woolen-mill at the west end of Walnut Street on Water Street by the "Chickahomanee Stream" where pulling, pressing, and carding was done. The power was applied by means of a tread-wheel on which horses walking on a platform furnished the power. Later steam was used and a thriving business was done in the manufacture of cloth. Its trademark was the eagle.
DR. LORD'S GRIST MILL
The four and a half story high gristmill that was built by Dr. Lord was located along side the Chickahomanee stream.
MR. X THE MOONSHINER
Mr. X, a moon shiner operated a still in the garage on the northeast corner of Walnut and Water Streets during the 1960's only to be "busted" by the F. B. I.
A.B. SEARS TANNERY
A.B. Sears operated a tannery in 1871 on the west side of the Chickahomanee stream.
A.B. SEARS HOME
The A.B. Sears home was once a hotel around 1912. Vinton and Franklin Squires owned the hotel. A butcher shop adjoined the hotel on the east side with connecting stairway between the two buildings. Rooms above both buildings were rented. An icehouse stood behind the hotel. Ice was cut at "Roger's Lake" south of town, and hauled in wagons to pack the icehouse. The Squires brothers cut wood for four stoves, which heated the buildings. A lean-to served as the wood house and a team of horses were kept in the feed barn. Lincoln Squires opened an ice cream parlor and lunchroom in the "Old Hotel" in April of 1924. The butcher shop building was moved in the 1920's to South Portland Street.
THE FIRST BRICK HOUSE
Situated on West Sandusky Street at the west side of the Cardington Road sits the first brick house in the village. Henry George for Robert Dalrymple built the house in 1815.
ARMY SURPLUS STORE
This building was built in the late 1940's to house a Minneapolis Farm Equipment dealership. Later it was a restaurant, a home and finally an Army Surplus store.
UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The United Presbyterian Church was on the Cardington Road. The church was disbanded and joined the Presbyterian Church. The building was cut in two and turned, to face the road, making two homes in the 1930's.
The house west of the library was the Methodist parsonage for years until the new house was built on North Portland Street.
The telephone office once stood at the corner of West Sandusky and Mound Streets. The first switchboard operators were Hortense Jenkins and Ruie LeMasters. The upstairs rooms were rented to roomers. The house burned in the late 1940's and the office was moved to the Albert Scowden house next door. Later automation was installed in a little brick building at the rear of the property, before being moved to the present structure at the corner of Walnut and South Portland Streets.
Among the names found listed in Chester Township is the 1820 census were: Robert Shaw, John Stilley, Enos Miles, James McCracken, John Brown, William Meredith, James Ogden, Robert Peoples, David People, John Peoples, Evan Holt. Other names that appear in history are: Evan and Charity Holt, John Walker, Jacob Shurr, David Miller, DeWitt, Denman, Dalrymple, Evans, Fogle, George, Kimble, Laycock, Struble, Trowbridge, Gleason.
Compiled and edited by: Pat Ebersole © 1995. Any additions or corrections would be greatly appreciated. We would also appreciate any photos of the village or citizens of the past. Please email any of the above to Selover Public Library's email: